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- Publisher: Little Brown and Company
- Format: Paperback | 387 pages
- Dimensions: 104mm x 168mm x 28mm | 181g
- Publication date: 1 September 2008
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0316033480
- ISBN 13: 9780316033480
- Edition statement: Reprint
- Sales rank: 5,401
Case one: A little girl goes missing in the night. "Case two: " A beautiful young office worker falls victim to a maniac's apparently random attack. "Case three: " A new mother finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making - with a very needy baby and a very demanding husband - until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape. Thirty years after the first incident, as private investigator Jackson Brodie begins investigating all three cases, startling connections and discoveries emerge . . .
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Kate Atkinson is the author of six novels - "Behind the Scenes at the Museum, "which won the Whitbread Award for Book of the Year; "Human Croquet; Emotionally Weird;" CASE HISTORIES; "One Good Turn;" and "When Will There Be Good News? "- and a collection of short fiction, Not the End of the World. She lives in Edinburgh.
By Marianne Vincent 27 Jul 2013
Case Histories is the first book in the Jackson Brodie series by popular British author, Kate Atkinson. The background facts on several unrelated cases are presented: the disappearance of a toddler thirty-four years previous; the slaying by knife in broad daylight of a solicitor's daughter ten years ago; the disappearance of a daughter whose mother went to jail for the murder of her father twenty-five years before; an old woman who is convinced her black cats are being abducted. PI Jackson Brodie, ex-Military Police, ex-cop, is the link between all these disparate cases. But as Jackson investigates, the lines dividing the cases begin to blur and people left behind enter each other's stories. And it seems Jackson has an unsolved case in his own past as well. Atkinson's format may deter some readers, as the three cases in the first chapters seem both unrelated and unfinished, but persistence is rewarded with an excellent mystery/drama that will leave the reader eager for more. Atkinson has a wonderful way with words and some of her passages are superbly evocative: "Right up until the end Victor's mind had been as methodical as an efficient library, whereas Amelia felt hers was more like the cupboard under the stair where ancient hockey sticks were shoved beside broken hoovers and boxes of old Christmas decorations, and the one thing you knew was in there - a 5-amp fuse, a tin of tan shoe polish, a Philips screwdriver - would almost certainly be the one thing you couldn't lay your hands on." and vividly descriptive: "Her mad hair looked as if it had been groomed by a troupe of circus dogs." Jackson is a very likeable character, flawed, but trying to do the right thing. Other characters are recognisable as people we encounter in our everyday lives: eccentric old women, homeless waifs, fat geezers, precocious young girls. There may be no classic denouement, but this is nonetheless a clever and funny detective story.
"Grabs hold of the reader and doesn't let go. . . . CASE HISTORIES winds up having more depth and vividness than ordinary thrillers and more thrills than ordinary fiction." Janet Maslin, "New York Times""